Jesus Chicks … August 5, 2012

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The dude was surrounded by women.

I don’t say that to try to be relevant or cool. It’s just a fact. When Jesus of Nazareth lived on earth and did his public work, a strong portion of the constituency of his following consisted of women.

It was unusual. Women were generally relegated to the position of servanthood, bound by their ovaries and breasts to motherhood. Jesus invited them into the Kingdom of God, with equality. But that in itself would not have caused women to want to be around him. He succeeded in blending the perfect batch of compassion and confrontation, to manifest the magical, chemical concoction of legitimate concern.

Too many men treat women with only compassion, which reeks of being condescending and pandering, and eventually is a major turnoff to the ladies. On the other hand, a lot of men try to be confrontational and domineering and may temporarily gain the attention of members of the opposite sex who have poor self-esteem, but ultimately, this rudeness and chauvinism is unmasked.

Jesus found women who were trapped in difficulty and he looked for perseverance that caused them to believe ina possibility instead of whining or falling into deep pits of self-pity.

There was one lady who was caught in adultery. What a bad day for her. She was thrown down in the midst of a group of men, threatened with a death sentence, and only rescued from the misadventure by the clever juxtopositioning by Jesus, who turned the tables and caused the accusers to reflect on their own weaknesses. But rather than giving her a big hug after the crowd had left and the danger dissipated, Jesus looks her right in the eye and says,”I don’t condemn you either–but go and sin no more.”

There’s that balance: compassion and confrontation.

Another woman had an issue of blood for twelve years. She was broke because she had spent all of her money on a bunch of doctors with cures that didn’t work. But once again, she didn’t feel sorry for herself. She decided on her own that simply touching the hem of Jesus’ garment would make her whole. And because she did, her faith produced a miracle, and Jesus whirled around and celebrated with her.

Another woman at a well in Samaria was divorced from five men and living with a new guy. I don’t think I am speaking out of turn to say that this lady had certainly experienced abuse, but she was still in the hunt for answers and was willing to believe that another man sitting by the well might just have the ability to help her escape her trap.

These women were everywhere. They brought to Jesus desperation accompanied by a refusal to give in, and Jesus responded with a compassion and a confrontation, determined to not allow them to view themselves as the weaker sex.

When Martha of Bethany told Jesus to command her sister to help serve food, Jesus confronted her and said that Mary, the non-domesticated sister, had chosen the better part by listening to the teaching instead of serving up grits and gravy.

Most people don’t realize that three women, Mary Magdalene, Joanna and Susanna gave of their substance to financially underwrite the ministry of Jesus. In my study, recollection and comprehension, there has never been another spiritual leader who drew women to him, treated them as equals and blended compassion and confrontation to create a climate of transformation in the lives of these dear feminine heroes.

They were Jesus chicks. They were battered, beaten, demon possessed, had daughters who were vexed of Satan, were members of Herod’s court and prostitutes. They all refused to give up, but instead reached out one last time to someone who would give them compassion with a necessary dose of confrontation.

It is impossible to have equality with people if all you’re doing is feeling sorry for them. It is also equally as implausible to view each other as equals if all that stimulates the relationship is domination.

Jesus explained exactly the way things work. You find a woman who is not complaining, who has not given up, who is refusing to drown in her own self-pity, and you grant her compassion. Then you gently confront her–to do more.

It’s an amazing process. And because he took this profile with these dear hearts, they were drawn to him and ended up being a major thrust in the foundation of the new faith, called the Kingdom of God. It is why we can say with confidence, “In the Kingdom of God there is neither male nor female.”

There are just people who refuse to give up, won’t feel sorry for themselves, receive the compassion of the Holy Spirit and the confrontation of truth–and start over, completely born again.

Jesus chicks–women who had more to believe in than to complain about.

 

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